Delegation is to give another person authority and responsibility of a certain task that you would normally do yourself but you still take accountability for the outcome. In order to delegate effectively you need to first decide what tasks to delegate. You need to track what you can delegate by making a list of tasks that you do and from this the things that you can give to others. It is a more cost effective way of giving others responsibility rather than hiring someone else to do the work. Planning is essential when you are delegating. You need to identify the individual’s knowledge on the task, the skills they have to do it efficiently.
Give them control of the task completely but follow it up regularly by meetings and asking them how it is going, what is going good and what they need help on. Communication between the other person and you has to be very clear and precise. You should have their full attention. They need to have a clear understanding of what needs to be done and by when. SMART objectives need to be set for them and discuss the standard that you expect from them. Ask them how they will do it and what help you can give them in the task. Give them reassurance, confidence, offer them your support and appreciate them. Believe in them. When delegating tasks there are several levels of delegation to consider. Everyone is different, not everyone can handle or respond well to certain styles. A good manager knows which level to use with each member of staff when assigning a task.
Level 1- this is when the manager asks the staff member to look into the situation, get all the facts needed and come back to him/her. The decision of what to do is made by the manager. This type of delegation is usually used for new employees who have no experience in the business. It is also used when you cannot physically do it yourself as you are handling quite a few other things at the same time. For example, at SS during a busy patch at lunch time, if there is a customer who comes in who has problems with his glasses. You cannot see him as you are already dealing with two other customers. You ask a member of staff to check the glasses thoroughly, find out what problem they are having by getting all the facts from the customer. You have delegated this task out to that member of staff but you make the final decision on what should be done. You control the delegation.
Level 2- this is when the manager asks the member of staff to look into the situation but also come up with possible solutions to the problem. For example, in the above example, the manager would have asked the member of staff to come up with reasons why the customer is having problems and ways to fix the problem. However, the final decision is still made by the manager. The manager still controls the delegation. This level offers opportunities for more instruction, coaching, and development of the employees. It is often used for employees who may be changing companies but staying in the same career, so they are familiar with the task but not with the new employer’s working style and requirements.
Level 3 –this is when the manager asks the member of staff to look into the situation and come up with possible solutions. The staff member picks the best solution for the customer but gets the manager to approve before going ahead with it. For example the above mentioned member of staff would have the measurements rechecked by the manager before he remakes the customer’s glasses. The manager still controls the delegation but it conveys more trust and faith in the chosen employee, it also facilitates training, improves the overall experience and increases educational opportunities for the employee. This is a good happy medium for both new and experienced employees and works well in large workplaces where the tasks must be managed properly for structural purposes.
Level 4 – this is when the manager asks the member of staff to look into the situation and carry on and finish it till the end of the solution unless he says not to. For example, in the above example, the member of staff would be able to finish it off unless the manager said not to. The staff member controls this type of delegation. It shows a lot of faith and pays a compliment to the staff as to their manager’s level of confidence in their ability to complete the task successfully. It is often left for experienced employees, particularly those who have performed the repeated task successfully in circumstances prior. One problem to this approach is it can also be a source of frustration for an employee who is told they have the expertise and capability to do what is requested the way their manager wants it done, but then if they lack the confidence in their manager to follow through or if something goes wrong, then it makes this person almost entirely accountable. This Level requires trust, rapport, confidence and understanding.
Level 5 – this stage is when the managers asks the staff member to complete the task and to report back to him when it is done and what was done. For example in the above situation, the manager will want to know when the problem is sorted and what the member of staff did to solve it. The manager doesn’t even require a heads-up or check-back before the staff member starts work on the task. Many companies who have experienced staff members use this type of delegation to accomplish more. It can also be beneficial for smaller companies who trust in their employees to help them perform at maximum potential. They control the delegation.
Level 6 – this is when the manager tells the staff member to take action and follow it up if needed. For example in the above example, the manager gives full authority for that staff member to deal with the customer. He does not get involved at all. This is not only complete freedom, but also the ultimate compliment in terms of a manager’s confidence in the staff member’s ability to complete a task to the manager’s complete satisfaction. When it comes to effective delegation, you cannot just order people around. Each individual is different and responds differently to different styles of delegation, criticism and praise. This means in order to be most effective, and get the best results from staff chosen to have tasks and projects delegated to them, employers must be both creative and knowledgeable when it comes to picking the right person for the right kind of delegated assignment.